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Helping a Sensitive Child
Q: My six-year-old son is very sensitive. He cries easily, and gets his feelings hurt often He is well-liked in school, but if someone doesn't want to play with him he feels he has no friends. He worries a lot at night about whether or not someone will be his friend the next day. What can I do?
A: Many six-year-olds are sensitive and worry about friends, but your son's concerns are beyond the average. A child who worries at night about who will be his friend the next day needs some help in dealing with these issues.
You don't indicate what has changed in your son's life this year -- a family move, a new baby, a separation or divorce, a death in the family -- all of these are events that can cause a child to become more sensitive. Your son may also feel intimidated by his teacher or some of the other children.
Talk with the school counselor. She may be able to give your son some individual time or include him in a small group. If you decide to seek additional help for him outside the school, the counselor or your pediatrician can refer you to a therapist in your community.
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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.